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Bandeja Paisa & possibly other columbian foods/restaurants in the bay area?

Hey guys, I'm from the east coast and used to goto my neighborhood columbian restaurant to get a dish called "Bandeja Paisa" and it was extremely meaty and starchy and overall just yummy goodness. Started craving this dish recently and couldn't find any decent places that had it. Was wondering if anyone could recommend where I can get this dish? I saw "El Majahual Restaurant" on Valencia in the mission but has some of the worst reviews I've ever seen despite their 4 stars on yelp. I don't care if the restaurant serves other things, I just want this specific dish alone. I am willing to visit any establishment, be it a cafe, a seedy neighborhood restaurant, a food truck, someones house (maybe)? I'm just about to give up on the search for this dish and might just start heating up the fryer in my kitchen. But before I do all that, is there something someone can tell me about where to find or possibly order this dish online if need be? Lol, I know it sounds weird to someone who's never had it but if you don't like deep fried pork skins with a slab of steak and avocado's with crispy fresh arepas, to me you're just insane.

Thank you for the feedback in advance y'all!

Mac and Cheese in SF

I honestly can't speak for anyone else but I can say that my experience at "Homeroom" in oakland was really one I will definately remember. Not only because of the Mac & Cheese but also because it was something totally out of the norm. The menu ONLY consists of mac & cheese entrees and nothing else. The main reason I can't forget this place is because of the peanut butter pie (very creamy) and the beer/beer floats. They also had carmelized onions as one of their added toppings and I can't think of one place that has this as an extra (even pizzerias don't have this?). Really good stuff.. For anyone thinking of going, here's my rec's:

#1 Garlic Mac & Cheese with Carmelized Onions (Add meat like bacon or chorizo if you want some more protein)

#2 Peanut Butter Pie (Whipped Creamy with a graham cracker crust, very good)

#3 Beer float (Never seen this before?? also very good)

The best wine for Julia's Beef Bourguignon?

i'm just half way reading through this blog and i have yet to see an answer involving technique? from what i gather i'm sensing here that the goal is to create the best version of boeuf bourguignon. i'm also getting a feel that you're not interested in sticking to the classics and would prefer a more exciting palatable taste that will awaken the senses. so then, if this is all correct, my questions are:

-are you using fresh ingredients?
-are you using onions (type) and/or shallots?
-are you using traditional beef stock or canned beef broth?
-would you like to experiment with different cuts of beef?
-what is the temp. of your oven?
-cooking time?

the list could go on but in the end i'm going to assume you're reading this hoping i have an answer. and yes, i do have one. here it is:

2 large shallots (properly sliced)
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic (sliced in half)
few tbsp. butter, depending on size of cooking vessel (unsalted preferred)
handful of carrots
short ribs w/ bone attached (bones add texture and flavor)
beef broth (3 cups, if using canned low-sodium preferred)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 cups cabernet sauvignon (red wine)
garlic and onion powder (add to taste when finished cooking)

note: now the key to a very good boeuf bourguignon is texture. you want a nice crust on the outside of the beef to contrast the soft meaty center.



1. Brown the meat. Not just pale brown, form a nice crust. Make sure you've cut them into larger pieces because there will be major shrinkage. You're the one eating this so make sure it's well enough to your liking. After this step you can't go back and re-brown them. An alternative would be to broil them. Whichever way suits you. When done, place on the side. I like to use the lid of my cast iron pot so as not to rewash additional plates/bowls.

2. Brown shallots, garlic and carrots. Again, make sure to brown them. You want to see brown bits on the bottom getting stuck to the pan. The more the better. I used to add celery but I've done without it and I seem to like it a bit more. Again, whatever suits you. It's your food & you're the one who has to eat it.

3. add the tbsp. of balsamic vinegar. cook until syruppy.

4. quickly add the tbsp. of red wine vinegar. again, cook until syruppy.

note: the reason we need to do these in a specific order is to layer flavors properly. melding them all together will create one flavor. if you want a richer complex flavor you're going to have to layer them one by one. i try to cook mostly from the heart...& a little from whats left of my brain.

5. Add the Cabernet Sauvignon. I like to boil this down to a syrup while other like to leave it liquidy. Again, it's your preference, totally up to you. The only reason I boil it until it becomes syruppy is to extract more flavor.

6. Add Beef Stock/Broth. Boil this down until it reduces about half way. Make sure you end up with enough liquid to cover the short ribs half way on it's side.

7. Add thyme & bay leaf. At this point you can pretty much add any herbs you want. Again, my preference is I like to keep things simple.

8. Place aluminum foil over the top and place the lid directly on top & place in pre-heated oven for 3 hours. The aluminum ensures a closed cooking environment which ultimately ensures even cooking and quite possibly a better flavor.

9. When finished, take out of oven and place cooked meat in a bowl/pot with a lid. Braised meat shrinks rapidly if left outside of it's braising liquid to dry. Make sure no steam escapes and the meat is locked in. If you have an oven bag, that'd probably be best. They just need to be sealed away for a moment to season the braising liquid.

10. Strain liquids with fine mesh strainer. Use whatever you can to strain as much of it as possible and make sure to press down to get all those delicious juices.

11. Heat the strained liquids in a fresh pan/pot.

At this point I like to add a roux. If you're not sure what that is just google "roux". You can try other thickeners like cornstarch but it won't give you the right texture, you may also regret it in the long run. I like to add garlic powder, onion powder & white pepper. Again, it's your preference.

If you don't know how to incorporate a roux, here's a fast and easy way to cheat through it. Add roux to a little ramekin. Add heated liquid to the ramekin w/ the roux. I like to use chopsticks and whisk it down into a fine liquid. Make sure to whisk enough to remove flour chunks. (unless you like that sort of thing.)

****for those of you still googling roux, it's 1/2 unsalted butter 1/2 flour mixed together into a sort of paste. I use 1 tablespoon of each.****

I'm not a chef. Just a kid who loves food. Too much. Way too much.

oh yea, the roux is optional. because the bones add their own natural gelatin to the dish which forms a nice sheen to the braising liquid. This "sheen" factor is something you cannot fake with boeuf bourguignon.

if you add datu puti vinegar and soy sauce you end up with adobo.

if you add soy sauce, pureed asian pears, fresh dates & mirin you end up with galbi jjim.

the possibilities are pretty much endless. try using brisket for a different meaty texture. Chuck round, ribeye steaks, filet mignon medallions. I'm sure one of those ideas is good.

...going to sleep. nite ppl.

Mar 01, 2012
chefwhites in Home Cooking